Wednesday, March 21, 2012

A Glance Over My Shoulder... My Thoughts On My Blogoversary.

Yep, this is me!
I’ve talked a lot about the different aspects of how awesome this journey has been off and on this last year. And I’m sure you’ve heard it all… how much I love it, how much I love you guys, how much I love books… and honestly, as repetitive as it is, it’s too true. I love everything that encompasses this part of my life. There’s no way I can ever thank everyone enough, no matter how many times I do. And there’s no way I can stop repeating myself talking about the stuff I love about blogs and blogging. It’s just so awesome. And when something is awesome, you just have to talk about it. So I will…

Starting Out

Even though I always liked the idea of reviewing books on a blog, I was always a chicken and didn’t think I could dedicate the time to it. But there was somebody who made the difference. A lovely friend that I’ve known for years on another site. Angie from Eastern Sunset Reads and I go way back. We both collect My Little Ponies and met on a pony forum. We did some trading and chit chatting. Then there was this one day when we were talking on a thread about book blogging.

Of course, I ended up starting my blog up back in September of 2010, but as usual, I didn’t have the time to dedicate to it. I went back to it last March (2011) and started to write for it. I began my Update Thursday feature shortly after as a way to make sure I update at least once a week.

While I was on Goodreads, I discovered the groups dedicated to book bloggers and joined a couple of them. Upon joining and commenting with a link to my blog, I reached 8 followers by the end of the day. EIGHT. I was freaking out back then, because I didn’t think I’d be able to get many people to bother reading my ramblings. Little did I know that eight was going to be just the cherry on the ice cream sundae of my blog. After that I discovered the different memes, including Follow Friday, and things just started to take off from there.

The Journey

I spent a lot of time preparing posts and posting them during the next few months. It was starting to take over my life. I was on there TOO MUCH and getting hardly anything else done in real life. Plus, I found I was doing way too many memes. They were getting hard to keep up with. Coming up with books for Waiting On Wednesday, picking out the quotes for Teaser Tuesday, etc. I decided in the middle of summer to take a break to get caught up on real life stuff and come up with non-meme posts.

I’ve had to do this off and on to get myself caught up, but it always seems to work out alright in the end. I got to take part in a bunch of giveaways and discussions on great topics like Banned Books Week. I was able to win several giveaways and also to hold guest posts and blog tours for some amazing authors.

I can’t remember how many times I redid the format of my blog. The design was redone several times, but the last time was definitely the best one so far and I’m not touching it! As much as I’d like a personalized blog design, I kinda have a soft spot for the background picture and colors and fonts I already have.

And the people. By people I mean bloggers and authors. Such sweet people. I’ve been able to get to know a few of you bloggers pretty well over the last year (I'd mention names but I'm always afraid of leaving someone out!). We’ve chatted on each others blogs (I’d say practically DAILY) and some of us have emailed back and forth. I know I always look forward to new posts on your pages, and even if I don’t always comment, trust me when I say that I always read them. The authors I have contacted and who have responded have always been the sweetest bunch. They are extremely nice and come up with the coolest posts. I am thankful for their generosity when it comes to donating copies of their novels for me to review.

And all of my followers that stop by and comment, all of those who are participating in my Classics Reading Challenge, all of those who have entered a giveaway, you guys are what make this blog the absolute fun it is. Without you, I’m just some random girl who babbles on about books and the weird things she likes.

Reading & Writing

I never knew how many books were in existence until I started following all of your blogs. All I would do is go to the library and check out a bunch of YA books from the medium sized YA section. Or I would go in a loop on Amazon looking up one book and then checking out the recommendations. I’ve found that learning of them from you guys is better. You give insight into why the book is so good (or so awful, which is greatly appreciated). If I would go through my TBR list on Goodreads, I could probably blame at least one third of them on you. And that’s a good thing!

After years of idea and scene writing, I didn’t think I’d ever get around to really writing again. All I would do, at best, was come up with a poem once a month. Then I was reading about e-book publishing, and fellow bloggers writing, and then National Novel Writing Month. I just kept getting all kinds of encouragement and tips and a sense of community (unpublished but want to be published writers). NaNoWriMo made the difference. I got to see what my efforts could accomplish. And although the revision process is becoming quite the task, I would never trade this side job of writing for anything. Heck, even if I publish my novels and only get a handful of readers, I could care less because I’m enjoying writing again. And that’s just awesome.

Today

Today I feel like I’ve done quite a bit. Quite a lot a bit! The accomplishments may not add up to too much, but it adds up to something special. I’m glad that I kicked myself and started to spend more time reading and blogging. It really has changed my life in many ways. Not necessarily “OMG, I owe my life to this blog” but more like I’m glad it happened because it’s changed my outlook on things.

I’m glad for the friends I have made and kept. I’m glad for the books I’ve read and loved. I’m glad for the authors that have taken the time to read my thoughts on their books. I’m glad for the writers and for writing again. I’m glad for it all.

So. Thank you. Thank you for being on this journey with me and sticking with me. You’re truly amazing and I appreciate you so much.

Especially since you guys know how weird I am.

Holy long post, Batman! If you have read all of this and haven’t fallen asleep or yawned or gotten bored, HUGE HUGS to you. You’re definitely awesome. Since, this post is long enough, I will bid you farewell until next time. Thanks again and have a great day!

~Jessica

PS: Because I love you so much, here's another LOLCATS picture: http://icanhascheezburger.com/2010/08/18/funny-pictures-facebook-poop/?from=recMap3

(Picture replaced with link to picture)

8 comments:

  1. I seriously can't believe how quickly a year goes by and how much things can change. I remember how much darker your blog background used to be! It's just so amazing what the internet has done to bring the geeky reading/blogging community together. I can honestly say that without you guys I would probably be in a looney bin talking to imaginary friends about books. Pretty much all of my TBR can be blamed on other bloggers! I can't wait until you publish your novel Jessica. If it's anything like your blog posts, we're in for something amazing!

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    1. OMG, don't make me cry! *hugs* Thank you so much for your sweet words. ^_^ I love having blog friends like you. We freak out over Gossip Girl together and go back and forth on writing issues. It's just so much fun. I love having another person to bounce things off of. I'm hoping to incorporate some of my quirkiness in my novels. :)

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  2. I'm with Lan, I can't wait to read your books. I know they'll be amazing because you are! I love that you get me and I love the crazy things we have in common. Happy blogoversary!

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    1. Thank you sweetie! *hugs* I can't wait until I can share them with you. The Big Bang Theory and crazy cats, yeppppp. It's great to be able to talk about stuff like that with somebody who GETS it. ^_^

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  3. Happy Blogoversary!

    I'm a new follower, but I really enjoyed your look back at the last year and learning about your growth as a blogger! I look forward to your book :)


    -Jac @ For Love and Books

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    1. Thank you! I hope to be able to share it with everyone in the not too distant future. :)

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  4. Wow! It is amazing where we started! *huge hugs* It was so nice that we have been able to support and keep each other going. You have come so far, with reading, writing and your blog! I couldn't be happier for you :D

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    1. *hugs* I'm glad to have you to keep me going! This has been good for both of us. ^_^

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As of December 15th 2011, this blog is an award free zone. I am unable to keep up with the requirements for them. Thank you for thinking of me though!